A significant number of JobKeeper enrolment forms have been found to contain errors, slashing the cost of the program by almost half.
An ATO review of the 910,055 businesses who have self-assessed as eligible under the JobKeeper scheme found that around 1000 made “significant errors” when reporting their estimates of eligible employees.
“The most common error was that instead of reporting the number of employees they expected to be eligible, they reported the amount of assistance they expected to receive,” Treasury said. “For example, over 500 businesses with ‘1’ eligible employee reported a figure of ‘1,500’ (which is the amount of JobKeeper payment they would expect to receive for each fortnight for that employee).”
Treasury now expects the number of employees to be covered under the JobKeeper program to be around 3.5 million rather than the 6.5 million initially expected.
The new cost of the JobKeeper program is expected to be around $70 billion compared to the $135 billion initially forecast.
“Treasury’s overall view of the labour market is unaffected by this reporting error,” Treasury said. “The JobKeeper program is providing important support to employers and employees through these unprecedented economic times.”